Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”—Matthew 22:34-40
Before He was ever crucified, Jesus gave the perfect summary of the foundation of Christianity. I just saw this in His Word for the very first time. I was thinking about Easter and thinking about the cross, when I remembered something Jesus said in Matthew 22:34-40.
The greatest commandment deals with our VERTICAL relationship with God. The first, and most important relationship issue that we must settle in our lives is our relationship with God. It was broken by sin, but the bridge upward to God goes through Jesus. If we accept that bridge, we will love the Lord our God because He first loved us. The second commandment deals with our HORIZONTAL relationships with others. We will love others with God’s love if we will first love Him with all our heart, soul, mind.
Jesus ends the discourse by saying “all the Law and the Prophets HANG on these two commandments.”
How does this pertain to Easter? Open your right hand, use your index finger and point UP- VERTICAL to represent your vertical relationship with God (You should love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might). Take your left hand and place your index finger HORIZONTAL to the finger pointing up to represent you relationship with others (love your neighbor as yourself). See the cross? The fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets hung there, Jesus on the cross, who opened us vertically to the love of God and enabled us horizontally to truly love others. That’s Easter!
How is your vertical relationship with God?
How is your relationship with others?
What does the cross mean to you?
1 John 4:19